Does Lexapro contain acetaminophen? (+5 precautions)
In this brief article, we will answer the question “Does Lexapro contain acetaminophen?”, how different they are, and what Lexapro actually has in it.
We will also explore the difference between these medications, whether it is safe to take acetaminophen during treatment with Lexapro and tell you five precautions to have when taking acetaminophen.
Does Lexapro contain acetaminophen?
No, Lexapro does not contain acetaminophen. In fact, acetaminophen is the active ingredient for several painkillers, while the active ingredient for Lexapro is escitalopram. Lexapro and acetaminophen are different medications used for different purposes.
Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used for treating depression, anxiety, and even obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (1). It works by stopping serotonin, a neurotransmitter, from being captured by the receptors in your brain.
Acetaminophen is one of the world’s most widely utilized over-the-counter pain relievers and fever reducers. It is accessible without the need for a prescription and is found in both single-ingredient and combination preparations. (2)
Its exact mechanism of action isn’t entirely understood, but it’s believed to involve both central and peripheral activities of the brain. It’s effective in reducing pain and fever without significantly affecting the mechanisms related to mood and emotion, as in the case of SSRIs like Lexapro.
What does Lexapro actually contain?
Lexapro is a branded medication available in oral solutions and tablets that contain the active ingredient escitalopram oxalate.
The tablets contain the following inactive ingredients: talc, croscarmellose sodium, microcrystalline cellulose/colloidal silicon dioxide, and magnesium stearate. The film coating contains hypromellose, titanium dioxide, and polyethylene glycol. (1)
On the other hand, Lexapro oral solution contains the following inactive ingredients: sorbitol, purified water, citric acid, sodium citrate, malic acid, glycerin, propylene glycol, methylparaben, propylparaben, and natural peppermint flavour.
What is the difference between Lexapro and acetaminophen?
Lexapro and acetaminophen are two distinct medications with different purposes, mechanisms of action and usage.
Lexapro, also known as escitalopram, is classified as an antidepressant and falls under the category of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is commonly prescribed to address conditions like depression and anxiety disorders.
It functions by increasing serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter in the brain. Through this mechanism, it helps regulate mood and alleviate the symptoms associated with mood disorders.
Lexapro is available only through a prescription, and it should be taken under the guidance of a healthcare provider.
What about acetaminophen?
In contrast, acetaminophen, commonly recognized by its brand name, Tylenol, is an over-the-counter pain reliever and fever reducer. It is widely used to alleviate minor to moderate pain and reduce fever in various conditions.
Unlike Lexapro, acetaminophen does not significantly impact mood regulation or mental health. Acetaminophen is available without a prescription and can easily be purchased at pharmacies and stores.
Is it safe to take acetaminophen while in treatment with Lexapro?
Yes, it is safe to take acetaminophen, also known as Tylenol, while in treatment with Lexapro. These two medications have different mechanisms of action that do not interfere with each other and have minimal interactions.
The widespread use of these medications is a testament to their overall safety and efficacy when taken appropriately. The fact that they serve different primary purposes and their mechanisms do not significantly overlap contributes to their compatibility for simultaneous use in most cases.
In summary, Lexapro and acetaminophen function differently and are used worldwide for distinct purposes. Their combination is generally safe, and the rarity of significant interactions highlights the importance of following recommended dosages and seeking guidance from healthcare providers when necessary.
What precautions for acetaminophen use during treatment with Lexapro?
- Monitor acetaminophen dosage
Keep a close eye on the dosage of acetaminophen you are taking. It’s crucial not to exceed the recommended dose, as excessive acetaminophen intake can lead to liver damage or failure (3).
- Medication check
Be diligent in checking the ingredient lists of all medications you are using. Ensure that they do not contain acetaminophen, as unintentional double dosing can increase the risk of liver complications.
- Healthcare provider consultation
Always consult your healthcare provider before introducing new medications, including over-the-counter options like acetaminophen. They can provide personalized guidance, taking into account your specific medical history and treatment plan with Lexapro.
- Symptom awareness
Be aware of potential symptoms of acetaminophen overdosing, such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, confusion and yellowing of the skin or eyes. You should promptly report any unusual symptoms to your healthcare provider.
- Regular liver function tests
For individuals who may need long-term or frequent acetaminophen use, consider discussing with your healthcare provider the possibility of periodic liver function tests. These tests can help monitor your liver health and detect any early signs of liver stress.
By following these precautions, you can safely manage your pain and other symptoms with acetaminophen while undergoing treatment with Lexapro.
Maintaining open communication with your healthcare provider and staying vigilant about medication ingredients will help protect your overall well-being.
In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Does Lexapro contain acetaminophen?” and other questions like “What does Lexapro actually contain?” as well as whether it is safe to take acetaminophen during treatment with Lexapro and what precautions to take when taking acetaminophen simulate with Lexapro.
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Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. DRUGS@FDA data files [Internet]. FDA; [cited 2023 Nov 2]. Available from: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-approvals-and-databases/drugsfda-data-files
NHS, editor. About escitalopram [Internet]. NHS; 2022 [cited 2023 Oct 26]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/escitalopram/about-escitalopram/
J”èWIAK-B BENISTA M, Z. NOWAK J. Paracetamol: Mechanism of action, applications and safety concern – ptfarm [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2023 Nov 2]. Available from: https://www.ptfarm.pl/pub/File/Acta_Poloniae/2014/1/011.pdf
AM; L. Acetaminophen hepatotoxicity [Internet]. U.S. National Library of Medicine; 2007 [cited 2023 Nov 2]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17723918/